Infusing spirits is a skill no mixologists worth their swizzle sticks would be without, but it's simple enough that you can and should do it at home. Christine Sismondo, the drinks consultant who published America Walks Into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops in 2011, believes it's a home project anybody can tackle. She doesn't have a liquor cabinet, she has a liquor closet.
"Infusions are dead simple. They can make less interesting brands better," she says. "But there's no point trying this with a top-shelf liquor – that's already good enough.
"Ginger and gin go really well together and are paired together in many drinks, including the gin-gin mule, one of my favourites," she adds. "Gin-infused ginger is also excellent for fighting off the flu. At least that's what I tell myself." Here's what to do:
1. Select a fresh and juicy piece of ginger (250-300 grams). Wash and cut it into relatively large chunks (1-centimetre cubes).
2. Add ginger and a 750-ml bottle of gin to a large sterilized jar. To sterilize, submerge the jar in boiling water for 30 seconds. Save your empty gin bottle. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for a week.
3. Taste it after a week to make sure the ginger's flavour is pronounced. If not, leave it and taste every other day. When it's ready, strain and funnel it back into the bottle. Chug. Or make a gin-gin mule.
Special to The Globe and Mail